Weatherford Star-Telegram

It’s only 2.5 square miles, but this town could be entertainment hub of Parker County

Splash Kingdom Wild West water park has been entertaining visitors for several years in Hudson Oaks, and next year it will have a neighboring entertainment venue as Urban Air Adventure Park will open.
Splash Kingdom Wild West water park has been entertaining visitors for several years in Hudson Oaks, and next year it will have a neighboring entertainment venue as Urban Air Adventure Park will open. Special to the Star-Telegram

Though it encompasses only 2.5 square miles, the city of Hudson Oaks has firmly entrenched itself as a destination place in Parker County. Set off to the side of Interstate 20 with easy access, it draws many visitors daily.

It is home to the county’s only water park, Splash Kingdom Wild West, which opened a few years ago. And, until a couple years ago, the city was home to the area’s only movie theater, a 10-screen venue that is still the county’s largest.

And with the addition of a new Urban Air Adventure Park within the next year, Hudson Oaks could be considered the entertainment capital of Parker County.

“It gives us a year-round activity center that meets the needs of a particular demographic, parents with kids,” Hudson Oaks City Administrator Patrick Lawler said. “Whether it’s 35 or 85 degrees outside, kids can spend long periods of time being entertained.

“Splash Kingdom is great for around 90 days a year, and the movies are, of course, always a fun thing to do, but this adds another great entertainment venue.”

Urban Air will include activities such as trampolines, obstacle courses and indoor skydiving.

“As a parent of extremely young children myself, I think it’s important to encourage getting out instead of being in front of the TV, and we’ll have plenty of things to do when they get out,” Lawler said.

Hudson Oaks Mayor Marc Povero said Hudson Oaks’ location makes it a perfect place for entertainment venues.

“Our city is situated perfectly between Weatherford and the Walsh Ranch development in west Fort Worth. Entertainment venues look at several factors when choosing a location, but demographics, population density and freeway access are very important,” Povero said. “Hudson Oaks is the ideal location in Parker County for all three.”

Hudson Oaks is also well-known for being one of the few cities in Texas to not have a property tax. Not only does that attract people to live there (Lawler said population estimates show an increase from the current 2,300 to around 3,000 in 2020), but it also attracts businesses to supply those new — and old — residents, such as Creekside, the city’s first mixed-use development that is also on the near horizon.

“At the end of the day, it’s a community with a vision,” Lawler said. “It’s a very New Hampshire small town approach.”

Folks in town are also excited about the new H-E-B supermarket that is expected to open in April, Lawler said. He also noted the new Pathfinders Brewery that is under construction.

Lawler said plans are also in the works for linear trails. And the entertainment venues will all be within walking distance of each other.

“Our council has made it clear, we want to be an outdoor, walking community,” Lawler said.

Povero said not only do the entertainment venues bring a lot of fun and excitement, but they also have a huge financial impact on the town’s economy.

“These types of entertainment venues are great sales tax generators and ensure that our citizens and businesses will continue to receive outstanding city services without a property tax,” he said.

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